Here in New Orleans, there are so many activities and happenings each week, let alone each weekend, that choosing what to do can be a real quandary. This is the seventeenth edition of our weekly series (formerly “things to do”) where we at Big Easy Magazine share meaningful activities for the busy Progressive.
So what’s cooking? What’s a great way to spend your free time, while enjoying the (we hope) last weeks of summer? No matter if you’re Uptown or Downtown, make sure to support local and sustainable food at the city’s many Farmers’ Markets!
The city’s farmers’ markets are a great way to get fresh, varied and affordable produce, as well as delectable honeys and jams. Purchasing food at the markets gives money directly back to the growers, and allows shoppers to connect with the people producing their food. It is also a great way to support minority-owned businesses, and local cooperatives such as the VEGGI Farmer’s Cooperative, based out of New Orleans East. Pro tip- their delicious tofu and soymilk should not be missed.
The farmers’ markets operated by Crescent City Farmers Market also allows recipients of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps) to use their food stamps/EBT in exchange for wooden tokens, which can be spent normally at the market. A SNAP recipient can use their card and through the Market Match program, the shopper receives double the amount spent for up to twenty dollars, half of which can only be used to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. So if someone uses their card to buy twenty dollars’ worth of tokens, they receive forty dollars of tokens total, half of which are designated to be spent only on produce. For those who don’t carry cash, debit and credit cards can be used to purchase tokens at the Market Umbrella tent.
The largest weekend farmers’ market is on 750 Carondelet and Julia St in the CBD, close to the Treme, Marigny and Lower Garden District. Running from 8 a.m. till noon, this farmers’ market features fresh produce, juices, seafood, bread and baked goods, pestos, hummuses and salsas, as well as tamales. Local meat and poultry are also available for purchase, and the market almost always features live music, from folk guitar players, singer/songwriters and violin players. Be warned though—some vendors sell out early, and local eggs seem to be in particular demand.
Also run by Crescent City Farmers Market is their Tuesday market, Uptown. The market runs year-round, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the northeast corner of the Tulane Square parking lot, 200 Broadway. This market features the Green Plate Special, where a local chef is invited to be chef-in-residence and cooks up affordable meals that feature fresh ingredients on sale at the market. This week look for Bua Thai Kitchen!
And for our Mid-City Friends, Crescent City Farmer’s Market runs a Mid-City Market on Thursdays. The Thursday Market runs year-round from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Orleans Avenue and Bayou St. John, in the parking lot of the American Can Co. Convenient for Mid-City and Bayou St John, enjoy some delicious food on the Bayou for a lovely evening bite!
Another market of note is the Sankofa Fresh Stop Market, designed to be a safe community space where residents of the Lower 9th Ward (a food desert, there are very few places to buy fresh food in the area) can purchase local eggs, produce and seafood. Currently located at 5200 Dauphine St, the market is open Monday-Thursday, from 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM. This Market also provides matching funds for SNAP recipients up to twenty dollars, as well as accepting cash, credit and debit cards.
No matter which of these delectable markets you choose to visit, remember to stay hydrated! Be kind! Be New Orleans!
If you have any additional suggestions or thoughts on what market or vendors deserve a shout-out, please comment! If you just have thoughts on living and working in this city that you want to share, feel free to contribute to our blog! Lastly, don’t forget to check out the latest in our Progressive’s Weekend section on our website for many other good ideas on how to get the most out of your weekend.